Sunday, 25 November 2007 - The Mix CD Volume 3

Firstly; thanks to DJ Analogue for sending me this copy to review. You can buy yours here.

Lunatrix and Vokal who compiled and mixed this CD must have been up in the library studying documents entitled 'How to compile and mix the perfect UK Hip Hop CD'. They must have been taking notes too because there is nothing to fault here.

The formula is something like this:

Take some well known UK MC's and some less well known but on-the-rise UK MC's who feature on a variety of differing production sounds and who have a variety of differing song themes. Take a host who can flow rhymes and instead of shouting and just introducing tracks and let him do his thing. Add some turntablism and some mixing. Finish it off with some nice neon cover art.

That's how it's done, simple eh? Well, probably not but the bods at have done it.

One thing that stood out to me was the amount of memorable tunes. All too often mixtapes can be a bit confusing, the songs often morph together and nothing is special. Mixtapes aren't proper albums and often this devalues them from the start. However, tracks such as 'Dear Lord' by Kid Rad and 'Fairytale' by Izzy G (the host of the mixtape) really stand out and make you want to listen to them again.

With names like Blak Twang, Rodney P, Million Dan, MCD, Skinnyman, Klashnekoff and Foreign Beggars on the ingredients list, any UK Hip Hop head should at least give this one listen but it's the newer names that, after one listen, will be more likely to grab you. I could listen through the CD and write about each track but I'm not going to do that. This CD should be judged as a whole, finished product and not as just the sum of it's parts. Yes the parts are great, and that's what makes it but really you need to listen to it.

I mentioned how varied the tracks are before. Topic wise you get straight bravado battle raps, postive social commentary, love songs, spiritual musings, honest life tales, street narratives, ends repping and death raps. On the production tip you get sample utilising UK boom bap, garage influenced beats with live instrumentation, slowness, fastness, rock guitars, acoustic guitars, bass heavy synthy tracks, reggae tinges and electro themed fuzzy bass bangers. The UK has diversity for real.

The plus points of this being a mixtape are that you get the freestyles and the skits and they don't sound out of place; they should be there. The HHB Leeds turntable skit is more than a welcome addition - bring that art back, I want to hear more scratching in UK Hip Hop. Word to Jabba the Kut for his cuts too. Izzy G's frees are awesome too, he does have a way with words ("Dropping words that go over your heads like the shoulders of hunchbacks", "You breddas are missing the beat like ex-cops" and "My first LP will be better than your 'Best Of'").

Props deserved for all those involved in this project; all the MC's, all the DJ's, all the producers and all the heads. It's good to see that we (the UK scene) can get things done and that the results are quality.

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